How New Crash Dummies Can Help Protect Women Behind The Wheel

You may have heard the phrase "it's a man's world," which, according to the English Club, likely means "everything in life is arranged to the advantage of men." If there is ever a case that this phrase is true is the way safety measures are designed and tested. Dummies have been used in crash tests for new vehicles since the 1970s, according to BBC News. And while the dummies have been used for decades, advances in the crash dummies have been somewhat stagnant.

A standard crash test dummy is scaled to mirror the height and weight of the average male. It is a standard fact that men and women are built differently, so the lack of women-sized test dummies can cause a ton of negative responses for women involved in car wrecks and accidents. According to Discover Magazine, the one crash test dummy that is used to reflect a woman is not an average build. In fact, at 108 pounds and under 5 feet tall, she more so reflects a 12-year-old girl, not a woman in the driver's seat. But now, Swedish engineers have finally created a dummy that reflects the average woman — and here's how it may change the game for female drivers.

Women need better safety measures while on the road, and this may be part of the solution

According to Consumer Reports, research has proved that women are more likely to be hurt in a car crash than men. When involved in a front-facing car wreck, a woman is 73% more likely to be injured than a male would be in the exact same crash. Even more alarming is that women have a 17% higher risk of being killed during a car accident, even while wearing a seatbelt. While there are many causes as to why women are more prone to injury and death while driving, one of the biggest reasons is the lack of female crash test dummies.

Finally, a team of engineers from Sweden have created a crash test dummy that will help women behind the wheel. According to BBC News, this new dummy will be 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weigh about 136 pounds, which better represents the average female. This change can help car manufacturers design seats that protect both men and women during a crash. Unfortunately, there is currently no law stating that a manufacturer must test on both male and female dummies. The lead researcher on this study and the director of traffic safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Astrid Linder, hopes that introducing this female test dummy will help cars be tested for both populations in the future.